where religion and politics meet

Everybody has a worldview. A worldview is what you believe about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Nations have worldviews too, a prevailing way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Politics is the outworking of that worldview in public life.

Our country’s worldview used to be Christianity. Now we are told it is and has always been secularism, which is practical atheism. This issue divides our country, but those who disagree are divided as well on how to respond.

Our country could not have been founded as a secular nation, because a secular country could not guarantee freedom of religion. Secular values would be higher than religious ones, and they would supersede them when there was a conflict. Secularism sees religion only as your personal preferences, like your taste in food, music, or movies. It does not see religion, any religion, as being true.

But God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments were always important parts of our public life, including our public schools, until 1963, when the court called supreme ruled them unconstitutional, almost 200 years after our nation’s founding.

Our country also did not envision a multitude of different religions co-existing in one place, because the people, and the government, would then be divided on the basic questions of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Constitution, which we fought a war to be able to enact, states, among other things, that our government exists for us to form a more perfect union, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. It could not do this unless it had a clear vision of what it considers to be true, a vision shared with the vast majority of the people in this country.

I want to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

Because religion deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, though the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation, critical thinking, and a hunger for what is true.

Science and education used to be valuable tools in the search for truth, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions of life without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary, possible, or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues. Many of the newer articles are shorter responses to partiular problems.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:


If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Problem with Trade Agreements

Senator Mark Kirk (May 27) makes the case that we should ratify the new trade agreement with the Pacific Rim countries, because this is supposed to be good for American jobs; and nations, and people, who would not want such an agreement are isolationists, protectionists, have their heads in the sands, and pretend that the world is flat.

That’s enough to shut down any debate with opponents who should feel embarrassed to raise any objections.  But if anyone had the courage to challenge this thinking, this is what they might say:

A nation has a responsibility to take care of its own people first.  We are not doing that, because we cannot provide enough jobs for our people.  So they rely on the government for assistance, and this takes enormous amounts of money from everybody else to pay for this.

The only way we can provide good jobs for all of our people is to make all of our own stuff here.  We used to do this, and jobs were always plentiful.  As the population increases, demand increases, and so do the jobs. 

But now our politicians are trying to sell us the idea that the key to jobs and our prosperity is in exports, selling our goods to the whole world.  However, there are a number of problems with this thinking.

First, it takes the control of our country’s prosperity out of our hands and puts it in the hands of everybody else.  If other countries are in an economic downturn, then we will be too, because they won’t be buying as much of our products. 

Secondly, for years we have known of other countries manipulating their currency to make their goods cheaper relative to ours.  We haven’t been able to stop them then, and we won’t be able to stop them now.

And, thirdly, treating the world as one large economy essentially makes all nations equal.   By that I mean that all standards of living will gradually meet somewhere in the middle.  Rich nations will become poorer, and poor nations won’t get much richer.  The jobs will gravitate toward the countries with the lowest labor costs, regulations, etc.  Competing with 200 nations is like flooding the labor market with workers.  Those who get the jobs will be the ones who pay the least.

Kirk believes that without free trade our exports won’t be bought by other countries, even though our products are the best in the world.  Not quite.  When we used to make all of our own stuff, we always had the opportunity to buy foreign products.  They were always more expensive, but nobody minded paying a little more if they thought the product was better than ours.  So if our products are indeed better than others, there will always be a market for them. 

Our country is in a deep economic crisis.  The biggest single reason for this we don’t have enough jobs for our people, because we sent so many of them overseas.  All this increased the cost of social services, and in our search for the money to pay for all this, we take more money from our companies, making overseas locations looking even better.

This trend can and must be reversed.  Our national debt can cause our economy to collapse.  And what drives the debt the most is the amount of people dependent on the government, because there aren’t enough good jobs here for them.

All imports should be taxed.   A trade agreement is not forever.  We made a mistake. 

In our nation’s history, we have gone through periods of taxing imports and periods of not taxing imports.  In the 1920s, we probably led the world in exports, and imposing and raising tariffs dampened our economy at a time when we sorely needed jobs.

The fact is that since we started free trade agreements in the 1990s, we have sent millions of our jobs overseas, and we are no longer able to provide good jobs for the people of our country.  Our trade deficits run into the billions of dollars every month, and this hurts our economy even more. 

Taxes on businesses need to be reduced.  Say what you want about greedy corporations, but if it is cheaper to make widgets in China, they will make them in China.  And taxes on profits and taxes on imports all enter into the decisions on where to make things.

And all the rules we put on corporations make a difference too.  If you’re worried about climate change, it doesn’t do any good to try for cleaner air here by making manufacturing increasingly more costly.  They all just go somewhere else where the standards are far worse than ours were 20 years ago. 

Trade discussions will always use such terms as isolationism and protectionism in pejorative ways to shame people, and countries, into what they call free or fair trade.  The fact is that ultimately we can only control what happens in our country, if control is the right word.  Just like our Representatives and Senators are there to act on behalf of the people of their districts and not on behalf of the people of other countries, we must make decisions in international matters on what is best for us. 

What I am suggesting is not selfish or harmful to other nations.  If every nation made their own stuff, they could provide their people with jobs and a good standard of living.  If they need to import things, they don’t have to tax them.  They wouldn’t be losing any jobs.

Exports are great when you can get them.  To rely on them for jobs and prosperity is a mistake.  You need other countries to prosper before you can.  If we make all our own stuff, we will have jobs for all of our people, because people will be competing for the needs of everyone around us.  Most of us can’t see what is going on in a foreign country else to try to compete against them.  As our population grows, demand grows, and so will our jobs.  And they will be good jobs too..

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Right and Wrong Way to Fix Gerrymandering

When we think of gerrymandering, we think of political parties forming legislative districts based on voting patterns, such that the party drawing the boundaries gets the maximum numbers of candidates elected. 

But the fact is: the same principle of designer voting districts can be used with a number of other criteria, like age, religion, ethnicity, wealth, education, immigration status, divorce rate, views on social issues, etc.  Political parties, foreseeing future political battles, could just as easily draw districts to strengthen or dilute the political voice of voters to suit their party’s platform.

The courts have already recognized the need and right for districts to be drawn to create majority minority districts.  The thinking is that this would ensure that the minority group would elect a representative of the same group, and this would ensure better representation for them. 

Actually I believe this hurts minorities more than it helps them.  If you concentrate all the members of a group into fewer voting districts, the number of representatives who have their particular interests in mind are also fewer.  But if you have sizable minority groups in more districts, there are more representatives who have them in mind, because they are dependent on their votes to stay in office.

But if you then allow and justify demographics of any kind to be used to draw district boundaries, you won’t know where else it is used when the distinctions are not as obvious as they are for racially based districts.  That is, you wouldn’t know as easily if a district were drawn to favor or disfavor seniors, the poor, the wealthy, the religious, the socially conservative or the socially liberal. 

The only criteria that should be allowed to those drawing up districts are population and geography.  Boundaries should follow natural geographical boundaries, including municipality boundaries as much as possible.  Anything beyond that has potential for abuse.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Presidency of Hillary Clinton compared to President Obama

My response to a question regarding the Presidency of Hillary Clinton compared with President Obama:

I believe that Hillary Clinton will run on a platform of equality: racial, gender, and income.  She will paint minorities, women, and poorer people as victims who have been taken advantage of and whom she will help by her policies and priorities.  She won’t have the affinity with the Muslim community that the President has, but she will see Muslim-Americans as another disenfranchised demographic that the government needs to protect. 

As Commander-in-Chief of the military, I believe she will be quick to use military action when our interests are at stake and when the public expects it, but I believe she will also not use them effectively, so that the public will tire of U.S. casualties and see the ineffectiveness of military force to solve our problems.  She will want us to rely more on negotiations and compromise to achieve peace and stability in the world.

I don’t know if she will lie as much as the President does.  She just won’t say anything, and the people will stop asking the questions.  Better or worse?  Would you rather die by hanging or firing squad?  Ultimately you end up in the same place.

how should we respond to an unresponsive government

My answer to a contest question on how to fix an unresponsive government.

Historically, I would say that it has been the media and the churches that have kept the pressure on government to be honest, open, and responsive.  The common element is that you have people who can talk to large numbers of people and ideally they can give the people some direct way to respond to what is happening in our capitols. 

Most of the media have failed us for some time now, basically I would say because they favor the Democratic philosophy of government and the only alternative is the Republicans who have a large conservative, Christian element in it that they would like to ignore.

Churches have stood by silently for too long for a number of reasons, but partly because they were told to do so by our government.  The threat of losing tax exempt status is a powerful force.
Any kind of reform depends on leadership, people who can identify the problems, clearly provide answers, and then show other people what they can do as well. 

Dr. Savage, you identify a host of problems, but your listeners need to know what they can do about them.  Should they write somebody, picket something, call somebody?  Government will respond if enough people call them on something.  You have, what, 3 million listeners.  (I’m guessing.)  If one per cent of them wrote a letter to somebody, I would say it would have an impact. 

We also need leaders who will bring our nation’s attention to such egregious evils as gerrymandering.

short answer for improving education in our country

This is my answer to a contest question of how to improve our nation's education.

There are two things we can do to ‘reset’ American education. 

The first thing may sound radical, extreme, to some, but we need to frame the debate.  If we talk about Progressives, then we are alerting them that we are trying to dislodge them.  I would choose a different strategy.

Our schools used to be the best in the world.  I don’t think anybody would dispute that.  That was before we had a separate Department of Education that we now spend $50 billion a year on with 50,000 employees.  Now our schools are inferior to that in most civilized countries. 

The Department of Education has shown itself to be not only a failure but irrelevant.  It should be ended, all control for education should be left to the states or local communities, and that $50 B could be used to pay down our national debt.  Teachers just need a classroom and books, and let them teach.

The second thing we need to do is to support private schools and homeschooling, which consistently show better results and promote better values.  The single best way to do that is to outlaw the double costs of not sending one’s children to public schools.  Two-thirds of property taxes pay for public schools.  Property taxes are at record levels.  We need to allow parents the right to deduct from their taxes the amount they spend on alternative education.

how should immigration affect a country's culture

my response to the talk show host's question the changes that immigration has on a nation

Immigration always changes American culture.   The problem is that these changes are different from in the past, because we are divided as a nation as to what American culture is.  We used to teach the Bible in our schools, and our nation embraced the values of love thy neighbor, compassion, helping people in need, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, giving, sacrifice, honesty, integrity, hard work, responsibility, respect, courage, self-control, discipline, humility, trust, honesty, loyalty, faithfulness, patience, saving yourself for marriage, not having children out of wedlock, and working through hard marriages rather than breaking up a family.
Now the moral consensus, at least in public, has been reduced to the lowest common denominators: tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity.  This means that there is no American culture for an immigrant to adopt, but our country must try to adapt to their culture.
I contend that the battle must first be over our country’s values.  Where we were taught to love our neighbors, now we are taught merely to tolerate them, which is another way of saying ignore them.  Is this how we want our people to live? 
Diversity just means we are encouraging people to have less in common with each other, and how can we then be united as a nation?  A house divided cannot stand, Some Famous Person once said.

Equality has come to mean that we hold back our greatest achievers so that everybody else doesn’t feel bad.  Is this what we want for our nation?

should the U.S. have a Parliament instead of a Congress?

This is my answer to the question of whether the U.S. needs a parliamentary system, as asked by a radio talk show host in a contest.

The United States does not need a parliamentary system.  Our Founders could have modeled our country after England, and Europe, in this regard but chose not to.

I would suggest three reasons why our system is better than theirs.
1)         An important feature of our government is checks and balances, which makes it harder for our leaders to change things.  This allows for more time and discussion on issues and less chances of any party or person forcing an agenda on the country.  Our government has three equal branches, while a Parliament really only has two, since the Prime Minister is essentially a part of the Legislature. 
2)         Our Congressmen are chosen to 2 year terms, so their terms in office are supposed to be more responsive to the desires of their constituents.  If the constituents don’t like what is going on, they can change it a lot faster.  Parliaments generally have a lot longer time between elections.
3)         Political parties have a much greater hold in Parliaments than in the States.  Here anyone can run for office, but there the parties make that decision.  The parties expect and get much more conformity over political decisions in a Parliament than in Congress.


A radio talk show host with strong political views asked the question as part of a contest whether there is any chance of working within the Democratic Party.  My answer follows:

There is no chance of working within the Democratic Party.  The Democrats run under the basic assumption that the government has the ability and the responsibility to solve every problem.  This requires micromanagement of every part of our lives plus massive amounts of money to run a program that addresses that problem. 

As part of their policy, they try to identify different demographics in our country and think of something that the government can give them that would win their support.  Once given, these things can never be taken away.  Where rights used to be things that you could do without the government hindering you, rights now have become things that you are entitled to that the government is required to see that you have.

They don’t view the country as a whole and ask what is best for the country.  They view the country as different parts with different needs so that meeting the needs of the one part could create new needs for the other parts.  The government would then have reason for another program to deal with those needs.

There are, however, a few demographics that do not need government assistance but actually do require some government control.  Those are white, male, and Christian.

what is needed for a successful third party

There is only one thing that prevents the success of a third party, and it is easily fixable.  Most elections that have more than two candidates do not require the winner to have more than 50% of the votes to win.  This is wrong, and everybody will agree that it is wrong.  But nobody who has a public voice is saying anything about it.

To change this, you don’t want to mention that this is needed so we can have a third party.  That would only prolong the process and create opposition.  You just want to focus on how undemocratic it is that somebody can win an election without a majority of the votes.

The only legitimate criticism of changing the current system is that it would require a runoff, which is expensive.  The solution for that is that on the ballot, after you vote for the person you want, the next item asks: if the person you voted for receives too few votes, who would be your second choice?  

This would shift all those ‘wasted’ votes to the candidate whose votes were split and give us a true winner.

That’s it.  That’s all it takes to launch a successful third party.

How do we change it?  The best way would be for a public figure who has a very large audience to keep pushing for it and telling that audience who they should call or write about it.  He could even write a book about it.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Free Speech and Pictures of Muhammed

The Sun-Times has a syndicated columnist who wants to school us on the First Amendment (May 16) but proceeds to label Pamela Gellar a bigot, which he is free to do, before exploring the thinking behind her actions.  This diverts our attention from the argument, enlisting our emotions to side against her without hearing her side of the story.

The writer bases his argument on his understanding of the part of the First Amendment that talks about ‘no establishment of religion,’ something Congress is forbidden to do.  He understands this prohibition on the establishment of religion as a position of government neutrality on religion.  I’m sorry, but that’s a modern rewriting of history.

Establishment of religion in the 1700s meant a state sponsored Church, like The Church of England.  Our government strongly supported Christianity as was seen in the First Congress publishing Bibles to be used in all the public schools and even using the Capitol Building itself as a church for about a hundred years after our nation’s founding.

A religion is a worldview, an all-encompassing framework for viewing life and reality, including the rules for living, such as what is right and wrong and true and false.  You remember our nation used to have the Ten Commandments displayed in schools and courthouses and Nativity scenes on public property. 

It was only in 1947 (170 years after our nation’s founding) that the court called supreme ruled that our government must be separate from all things religious.  That essentially relegates religion to one’s private life, like one’s hobbies or taste in music and positions government outside of religion with a worldview that for all practical purposes is atheistic, where our nation’s values become a sort of lowest common denominator, e.g. tolerance, fairness, equality, and diversity. 

So what does all this have to do with free speech?  Since religion has been separated from what a nation views as true, fundamental religious disagreements, or better, expressed disagreements on worldviews are now viewed as personal attacks, since a secular society must accept all worldviews (religions) as equally valid, viz. harmless thoughts on unimportant things.

So Pamela Gellar should be called a bigot, because she sees an entire worldview (Islam) as incompatible with American values.  Before we ostracize Gellar for breaking the new rules of social conduct (tolerance, fairness, etc.), we need to look again at the foundations of American and Western Civilizations to see what exactly it is that made us what we are.  Take a quick look at all the Moslem countries in the world today and compare them with the Western countries, specifically the United States, and see how many differences you can name and then explain why they are there.  And then explain how these two systems can coexist in the same place without dividing the country into two separate societies, as is happening today in Europe.

And then we can talk again about Pamela Gellar and free speech.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The answer to all our governments' debts

The Sun-Times inadvertently gave the solution to the whole pension crisis in its editorial today.  But first ask this question?  What does it mean to be bankrupt?  Can a person be bankrupt if he can still get another credit card, or does bankruptcy only begin when nobody else will loan that person any more money?  Isn’t there some point when somebody has to jump in and say, Stop.  You can’t keep borrowing money to pay debts, because you will only have to borrow more money to pay that debt.

The state is broke, the city is broke, the CPS is broke, our Federal Government is broke.  The Times reports that there is a law that municipalities cannot file for bankruptcy.  Are our politicians really that stupid? 

Should we just confiscate everybody’s money to pay for all this?  Just because they have the power to raise taxes doesn’t mean they should.  Enough is enough.  I know certain people in the state made promises, but they made promises with other people’s money and not their own. 

It’s time the public just says, no more.  No more taxes, no more BS.  If you can’t pay your bills with what you have, then declare bankruptcy like the rest of us. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Letter to the Republican Presidential Candidates

As I write this, six people have announced their decision to run for President in the Republican Party.  I am sending this letter to them, but also to the other 11 people who have been mentioned as possible candidates.

I think it is a good thing to have a lot of people run for the office.  I am glad that nobody has talked about being an independent or a third party candidate, because our system is not set up for an third (party) candidate.  That would require a runoff in every state where someone didn’t receive a majority vote, otherwise a third party would just split the vote of one party and essentially hand the election to the other party.  And I don’t think anybody has runoffs in the Presidential election.

Unfortunately, I don’t’ believe our current system is suited for this many primary candidates either.  And I sent a letter to the Republican National Committee with that same thought.  I asked the question: what would they, and the public and the media, think if, say, Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz won every primary with 35% of the vote, and everybody else was in single digits?  Would they assume that the Party had reached a consensus or that we had a clear winner?

I said that would be far from the case.  It would mean that 2/3 of the Republican voters did not want Cruz or Bush as their first choice.  More importantly, it could mean that 2/3 of the Republican voters didn’t want either of them at all.  But we wouldn’t know that. 

We want people to vote for who they believe will be the best candidate and not who they believe will be the ultimate candidate.   With so many candidates, this will only prolong the selection process, and under our current system many good candidates will drop out because they have run out of money rather than because they couldn’t or shouldn’t win.  The size of a candidate’s war chest is not sign of their general popularity or overall suitableness for the office, but generally only shows the decisions of certain large donors.

So what should we do?

I believe there is only one way that we can get the candidate with the most support, and that is through polling, but not the way polling is done now.  Polling is not an infallible system, so we need as many as we can get, but they still must do it differently. 

There will be primary elections over a period of 5 months, but voting only gives a person one choice, and we need to know their second and third choices as well.  Also, people will be dropping out, but for the wrong reason, as I just noted.  We need a new system, but all the candidates need to be on board.

A poll should not ask who we want for President.  It should ask for every person on the list that we could support for President.  The primary season is five months long.  If there are 15 candidates running for President, then every month the three candidates with the lowest poll numbers should drop out.  This is the only way we will find out which candidate really has the most support.

By the time June comes around, we should be down to the last two or three candidates.  Unfortunately, again, we will have primaries in June, and these June primary voters should not decide who the winner will be.  You need the broadest based poll of all Republican voters, and the winner must have a majority of the votes.  No one should win with, say, 40% of a three-way vote, or poll.  In the case of a three-way race, the one with the lowest total should remove themselves, and a runoff needs to take place.

I believe this is the only way we will know and have the best candidate for President from the Republican Party.  Without these changes, I don’t believe that will happen.  But you have to be the ones who see that this does happen. 

Under our current system, many of you will not have a chance, but you should.  Many of you will quit due to lack of funds, but you still could have been a viable or even the best candidate.  You have to demand and expect these changes, otherwise the efforts, time, and money of most of you will be wasted.  I hope that does not happen, but I believe this is the only way that it won’t. 

I wish you all well.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Choosing the Right Republican Presidential Candidate: A Note to the Republican National Committee

We all want our favorite candidate to win, but how can we be sure we have the best candidate?

As of today, we have 6 announced candidates.  I can think of at least three more with varying likelihood they will also announce.  That would  make nine.

Let’s say, for example, that Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz wins every primary with 35% of the vote and everybody else is in single digits.  Does that mean we have a clear winner?  I hope you don’t conclude that.

There are two different conclusions we should draw from this.  One is that two-thirds of the people did not want Bush or Cruz as their first choice.  They may not even want them at all.  And there are so many good people running that it is hard to choose between them.

Am I saying that our current system is flawed?  Actually, yes.  It may work well when you only have two candidates, but not with nine.  You want people to vote their consciences, but there are too many choices.  You will also be letting the size of one’s campaign contributions have too great of an impact, because the race probably wouldn’t produce a majority candidate with that many in the race for that long, and those with the least money will drop out, not the least wanted candidates.

So what do we do?

The primary season is five months longs.  Every month in that season we should winnow out two candidates who clearly are way below the others.  If three of the bottom four are tightly clustered together, then eliminate just one.  The next month you could eliminate three, if there are three way at the bottom. 

It is important that by June 2016, there are only 2 candidates left.  Then and only then can we know which candidate a majority of the Republican voters wants. 

But wait.  How do we decide which candidates are clearly at the bottom?  You can’t do it by the primary vote of that state, because one state is too small of a representation of the whole nation, just like you wouldn’t want the voters in the June primaries to make the final choice.

You would need to have bi-weekly or monthly polls of all the candidates.  Can you trust a poll?  Maybe not just one, but I am sure there will be many.  The candidates would need to or should agree to pull out of the race if after each month they are at or near the bottom.  Or the polls would need to just omit the very lowest candidates each month.  Only as the candidates with the least support are no longer considered will we know who the majority of the people will coalesce around.

If the Republicans don’t get a candidate that a majority of the Party supports, their chances in November 2016 will greatly diminish, and I don’t think our current system will do that.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The problem with trade agreements

The Herald printed an opinion piece (April 30) lauding trade agreements for our country and encouraging everyone to back President Obama as he pushes for another one.

On the contrary, it was trade agreements that destroyed the middle class and turned our country into one of high end and mostly low end jobs.  Building an economy on exports means that you have to wait for the other countries to prosper before you can prosper.  When they are in a slump, then you follow them.  You lose control of your own economy.

America prospered when it made all of its own stuff.  Imports were taxed, and people paid more so they could get Swiss chocolate, or French wine, or Chinese silk.  Now other countries make our stuff and send it back to us.  They get the jobs, we save a little money up front, but we pay far more in taxes and inflation to pay for all the social costs and debts from not having those jobs here anymore.

We have already had a number of trade deals starting with NAFTA under President Clinton, and in every case we lose more and more jobs and more and more control over our own economy.  

Globalization only makes the richer nations poorer and keeps the poorer nations poor.  Nations have to make or produce things to become rich, and richer nations do a lot less of that now.  And poorer nations never learn to make anything, because they keep relying on other countries to either make the jobs or sell them their stuff.

an open letter to a Congressman on how to fix our economy

Congressman Paul Ryan
1233 Longworth HOB
Washington D.C. 20515

Congressman Ryan:

I happened to catch part of your appearance on the Michael Medved show. I heard enough to know that you are somebody I need to talk to.

Our country has many serious problems. One of our greatest problems is the economy.  When people are not working, they become more dependent on the government, which goes deeper into debt to support them, which depresses the economy even further as it pulls more money out of the private sector.

I know there are many advocates for public spending to boost or drive the economy, but borrowing money is always the more expensive way to do anything and what money that is not borrowed is taken from somebody to give to somebody else, so ultimately it is just moving the same money around.  People are only getting richer as somebody else is getting poorer.

Our population is growing rapidly as we bring in million of immigrants, but we don’t have the jobs to support them, so this only fuels our increasing government debt which dampens the economy even further.

There is a way out, and only one that I see.

When a country makes all of its own stuff, then as the population increases, demand increases, and jobs increase.  There are only 4 ways to increase the amount of wealth that a country has: manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and fishing.  Otherwise we are just moving the same money around.  One person gets more as another person gets less.

We sent millions of our jobs overseas in the name of free or fair trade.  We were sold the idea that we could create more jobs by exporting our products to the world.  But this means that our economy is now dependent on the prosperity of the rest of the world in order for our own country to prosper.  We have taken the control of our economy out of our hands and placed it in the hands of other countries, which we cannot control.

Society has always run on the premise: I take care of my family, because we love each other the most and we can influence each other the most.  I can’t take care of my neighbors, because I don’t have the time, I don’t have the personal investment, and I don’t have the authority. So too nations need to take care of their own people first, because they don’t have the means, the authority, or the knowledge to take care of any other country.

When a country makes its own stuff, we take care of our own people.  Everybody has a job, because we can see the needs in front of us and create the jobs to meet those needs.  We can’t do this for another country.

We have always traded with other countries, but it has always been where the other country offered us something unique that we wanted, like Swiss chocolate, French wine, Chinese silk, or even a Japanese car.  We always paid more for it, and we were happy to do it. But now they are making our own stuff with their workers, and we don’t have the jobs.

A global economy, which is sounds so noble and enlightened, only impoverishes the wealthier nations and actually does very little for the poorer ones, because they are not developing their own economy. We are giving them jobs, sure, at the cost of our own jobs, but we are not really helping them, because countries shouldn’t be relying on another country for its own prosperity.

But don’t countries benefit when they can buy products cheaper from a foreign source?   Only in the short run, because as we eventually lose the jobs of making our own stuff, we have more and more people out of work and dependent on public resources.  So what you saved on that appliance, you pay more in taxes and inflation due to government debt.

Any products brought in from a foreign country should be taxed.  Maybe 10-15%. I know in the past these taxes were often removed, added, or varied by industry, but I think that was a mistake.  People need to be taught that buying something from a foreign country that we used to make here may be cheaper for the moment, but we are paying a much higher cost in the long run as we lose jobs and the government assumes more responsibility for taking care of its own people.

So bottom line: the only way we can support our people and do this most efficiently and keep being able to do this as our population grows is to make our own stuff.  Imports are fine when they are foreign companies that want to enter our market, but not when it is our own companies that we have chased away or otherwise made it unprofitable to work here.

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Friday, May 1, 2015

children of illegal immigrants

The Sun-Times editorial (May 1) speaks to one of the painful realities of this whole immigration mess.  Millions of people were brought here illegally as children, and compassion and common sense say that we need to help them in some way.

The problem is that we are not addressing the bigger problems that make any solutions impractical. 

Our country was built on immigrants, but we miss two important facts here.  The first is that there were no government assistance programs then as there are today, but we had jobs for them when they came here.

Our country is $18 trillion in debt, and our economy can easily collapse, when the other nations decide the dollar should no longer be the world reserve currency.  And this could happen later this year.

When a country makes all of its own stuff, as the population increases, jobs increase correspondingly to meet their needs.   But we sent millions of those jobs overseas in the name of free or fair trade, and we don’t have those jobs anymore.  Most of the remaining jobs don’t pay enough to buy these things, and too many people rely on the government to borrow money to give to them.

So frankly I am torn.  I am quite content to let millions of people become legal if they did it the old fashioned way.  They appeared before immigration officials and were accepted or rejected face to face.  To just blanket accept millions of people without even knowing who they are seems a bit irresponsible to me.  Is 11 million people too many to practically do that?  Hey, that’s what happens when you don’t address a problem right the first time.

So what about the Sun-Times proposal to allow illegal immigrants an equal shot at state scholarships?  I think to do this for somebody who is admittedly illegal makes a mockery of our laws.  But I have no problem with any person here illegally to walk into an immigration office and apply for immigration status.  A country always retains the right of refusal, but a country does have the right and obligation to know just who is in our country.